Republicans say it’s over and it’s time for Democrats and the media to move on from the Russia collusion story. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that the case is closed as far as he’s concerned regarding the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.
McConnell says it’s time to stop
re-litigating the 2016 election, even as committees in the House are just
starting their own oversight probe of the special counsel’s conclusions.
“This investigation went on for two years. It’s finally over. Many Americans were waiting to see how their elected officials would respond,” he will say, according to excerpts of his planned speech distributed to reporters.
McConnell’s remarks come as the House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler scheduled a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide a fully unredacted version of Mueller’s report for Wednesday. After contempt vote was scheduled, the Justice Department agreed to further talks to resolve the dispute.
If the committee does vote to hold Barr in contempt, the full House of Representatives would have to vote as well. The contempt resolution would also empower House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take all appropriate action to enforce the subpoena.
McConnell portrays the House attempts to carry out oversight responsibilities as “unhinged partisanship.”
Tragic news comes from the story involving a private jet that left Las Vegas on Monday, that did not make its destination, crashing near Monterrey in northern Mexico, authorities say.
The wreckage of the plane was found by an aerial surveillance search in a remote mountainous zone in the northern municipality of Ocampo, Mexico.
A photograph today published on local television in Mexico shows what it said were the burnt remnants of the plane, broken into pieces, spread over charred earth. The Coahuila government said the flight plan listed 13 people on board. It said no survivors were found.
Mexican media reported that the passengers had been to a boxing match between Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and U.S. fighter Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The nationalities of the victims were not immediately clear. The surnames of the three crew and 10 passengers published by the Coahuila government were all Hispanic.
The victims were aged between 57 and 19, according to a version of the passenger list published in Mexican media.
The story is gaining national attention and becoming more disturbing into the death of a young Texas woman, Sandra Bland.
Bland’s family members are calling to reopen a criminal investigation into Bland’s death in a Texas jail cell with the surfacing of her own arrest video. Bland was a 28-year-old African-American woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015, three days after being arrested during a traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Bland, in the video, is heard asking a state trooper why she is being apprehended as he orders her out of her car. He finally aims a stun gun at her at close range, shouting, “Get out of the car! I will light you up!”
“All this for a failure to signal,” responds Bland, 28.
Family members, who received $1.9 million in settling a wrongful death suit, say the 39-second video supports their claims of withheld evidence.
Their former lawyer, Cannon Lambert, argues the video obtained by the nonprofit news group Investigative Network and shared with a television station after the criminal investigation wrapped was not produced during the case’s confidential discovery phase.
The Texas Department of Public Safety counters that “a hard drive … including the dashcam videos, jail video footage and data from Sandra Bland’s cell phone, was part of discovery.”
Either way, Bland’s sister says the content disputes trooper Brian Encinia’s claim that his “safety was in jeopardy.” The video “not only shows that [Encinia] lied, but that he really had no business even stopping [Bland], period,” says Shante Needham. “He needs to go to jail.”
Lambert says Encinia—who saw perjury charges dropped after he agreed to never again work in law enforcement.
“What did she do to make him feel his safety was in jeopardy? Nothing,” he told reporters yesterday. A lawyer for Encinia, however, says dashcam footage showed Bland “reach out of view on the passenger side. That is the impetus to get her out of the car.”